Performance Almanac

Web Performance Optimization Use Cases – Part 3 Automation

In the first and second post of this series I discussed benchmarking and different approaches towards optimization of web application. As already mentioned in the last post, as soon as you get used to working with Key Performance Indicators you will want to automatically monitor them. ShowSlow is a great example of how you can track performance metrics over time. dynaTrace also sends performance data to the public ShowSlow instance … read more

Web Performance Optimization Use Cases – Part 2 Optimization

In the last post I discussed benchmarking as the first use case for Web Performance Optimization (WPO). This time I will take a closer look at optimization. After we have discovered how our site behaves compared to our competition – or any reference we might want to benchmark against – we want to learn how to improve our user experience. We will therefore have a look at different approaches towards … read more

Web Performance Optimization Use Cases – Part 1 Benchmarking

Web Performance Optimization (WPO) constitutes of a set of activities targeted at improving the performance of web applications. First coined by Steve Souders WPO is developing into a growing industry. Every month new companies and projects offering web performance services emerge. WPO is much more than performance analysis; however, performance analysis is a central part in WPO activities as you must first have the data to decide what you are … read more

Week 38 – Transactions in a JPA World

The use of transactions is a cornerstone when building database applications. However in our daily work, we often do not really care much about them. In many cases they are handled implicitly for us by the (J EE) container or application framework – such as Spring – we are using. We rely on these frameworks to do a lot of the heaving lifting around transactions. At a pure JPA level … read more

Week 23 – 7 Rules to Improve your Application Performance Practices

In this post I discuss the seven most important steps to improve your application performance practices. These simple-to-follow practices will help you to improve the way you deal with application performance. Besides eventually improving the performance of your applications it will help you to avoid playing the classical blame game which normally happens when something goes wrong Rule 1 – Understand the application While this may sound trivial and the … read more

Week 16 – Who is to blame for bad application performance?

When something goes wrong who’s to blame? In this post I take a closer look at who is responsible when applications have performance problems. Interestingly very often the question as to who is responsible is at least as important as how to solve the problem. In order to not have to search for the responsible person all the time I aim to find a general rule on who is responsible … read more

Week 22 – Is There a Business Case for Application Performance?

We all know that slow performance – and service disruption even more – affects our business services and eventually our revenue. At the same time we say that major parts of companies are not willing to invest in performance. In this post I will discuss why we find ourselves in this paradox and how to escape it. Applications fail and management does not care dynaTrace recently conducted a study on … read more

Week 14 – Building Your Own Amazon CloudWatch Monitor in 5 Steps

Amazon EC2 offers the CloudWatch service to monitor cloud instances as well as load balancers. While this service comes at some cost (0,015$/hour/instance) it offers useful infrastructure metrics about the performance of your EC2 infrastructure. While there are commercial and free tools out there which provide this service, you might not want to invest in them or add another tool to your monitoring infrastructure. This post will provide step-by-step guidance … read more

Week 15 – Optimizing Data Intensive Web Pages by Example

Lately I was checking out ShowSlow. The site is really great. It combines YSlow and PageSpeed metrics and visualizes them in a really nice way. When I clicked on the URLs Measured Tab I had to wait quite some time until the page finished downloading. While this page is really displaying a lot of information, I still wondered why it takes so long to load. I then used dynaTrace AJAX … read more

Week 8 – Challenges in Tracing JavaScript Performance by Example

In an earlier post I already discussed several approaches towards end-user experience (or performance) monitoring including their pros and cons. In this post I will present a simple real-world sample which shows the limits of performance traceability in AJAX applications. As I don’t like Hello World samples, I thought I’d rather build something a bit more useful. The sample uses the Twitter API to search for keywords. The search itself … read more